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Broncos Film Room: Meet the next Danny Trevathan

Andre Simone Avatar
April 30, 2018

With their second pick of the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select Keishawn Bierria out of Washington.

Bierria is an overachiever who started three seasons with the Huskies and was a second-team All-Pac 12 selection.

We went back to the tape to see what this college standout brings to the table.


  • Bierria is a very good downhill athlete. He does a nice job closing down on plays in a hurry when the action’s in front of him.
  • He has some skills as a blitzer, too, with the ability to slip through the line and close on plays in a hurry behind the line of scrimmage. He racked up 19.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, and 7.5 sacks in his career.

  • He looks promising in coverage, with more athleticism to turn and run with receivers than his combine numbers would suggest.
  • As a cover backer, he can be efficient out in the flats and can turn and run after skat-backs.

  • He’s very aware when dropping into zone coverage, is active and quick to react.
  • He has the ability to run downfield with receivers—just watch No. 7 race 40 yards to the end zone here.

  • Bierria really flies to the ball. He is a much better athlete than what he tested at, especially moving vertically. 
  • He’s quick to read and diagnose plays. Shows good patience to find the hole and shoot through it to make tackles.

  • He’s a playmaker, plays with his hair on fire and is hard to keep out of the action. Plays bigger than his size as he finds ways to avoid blocks and be productive behind the line of scrimmage.


  • Bierria struggles at times taking on lineman. He has to rely on his instincts, needs to beat blockers to their spot to make plays.
  • He didn’t test well at the combine, especially for his size. His athletic and physical upside is limited.
  • He’s only an average sideline-to-sideline athlete. His lateral mobility isn’t as good as it is moving vertically.
  • He’s really undersized at 6-feet and 230 pounds.
  • He’ll miss a few too many tackles.

In conclusion

Bierria reminds me a bit of Danny Trevathan, who wasn’t a cover linebacker, despite his size, but was really efficient in reading blocks and shooting gaps as offenses were more concerned with others in their scheme. That’s Bierria’s best quality as well.

His ability in coverage is intriguing and should allow him to play in some sub packages. Bierria also profiles as a good special teams contributor.

Few people see him as a future starter, but in the right scheme, he could surprise. He was well coached at Washington, playing in one of the nation’s premier defenses, and never looked exposed when playing some of the nation’s premier talents. He fits what Denver needs most at inside linebacker and is a good culture fit. The Broncos have a good track record of scouting linebackers and turning them into better pros than projected, Bierria could be the next in line. 

There were better athletes at this point in the draft, but Denver now has two good inside linebacking prospects in Josey Jewell and Bierria. Both do some of their best work in opposing backfields and have some upside in coverage. The depth at the position is much better now.

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